Joëlle Dinnage, a successful entrepreneur and art dealer from Oxford, will fly to Dubai this summer for an international awards ceremony after being nominated as a finalist in the International Business Excellence Awards 2019.

Mrs Dinnage, founder and CEO of Global Art Agency, who lives in Oxford, has a chance of winning an award in the Inspirational Female Leader category.

The 34-year-old who grew up in Hilvarenbeek, a small village in Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands, is an international art dealer and collector who first started selling art at just 13 years old.

She graduated from the Sint Lucas Art Academy in Boxtel in the Netherlands with a degree in Art, Conceptual Design & Marketing, before moving to Oxford to launch her first successful art business called the Funky Art Gallery in 2010.

She said: “I was very creative from a young age, art inspired me a lot. I was good on the commercial side too for selling the artworks and that’s how I ended up in the art business.”

ALSO READ: Oxford Bury Knowle art exhibition supports homeless

The Funky Art Gallery, which Mrs Dinnage says quickly became famous, was one of the first of her art galleries which focussed on graffiti and urban street art.

After the success of the gallery and the shows that she organised, she discovered that there was a need for art fairs on an international level.

She said: “There was a need for events that brought artists and galleries together to allow them to show their art and sell commission-free, whilst making that art more accessible to people through the venues that hosted them.”

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Dinnare, who is married and has a five-year-old son, decided to organise a way for people to do just that, by setting up the Global Art Agency a year later in 2011 which has since become one of the fastest growing international art platforms.

With offices in London and Dubai, the Agency allows artists, galleries, collectors and organisations to network with each other through international exhibition opportunities.

Her first event was the Amsterdam International Art Fair followed by the Barcelona International Art Fair and after finding out that there was a need for an art fair in Oxford, she launched the Oxford International Art Fair at Oxford Town Hall, which she says is a ‘fabulous venue’.

She has now organised over 35 large-scale events around the world, from Tokyo to Miami, Singapore, Dubai and across Europe.

Mrs Dinnage says being an entrepreneur requires a lot of travelling and meetings to find new opportunities to network.

ALSO READ: Merlin works his magic on Barton Community Centre makeover

She said: “I travel a lot to find new hotspot art cities for new events, connecting with partners all over the world. I also look after my son and work from home until duty calls to attend meetings, mainly in Europe, Dubai and Asia.”

Challenges are often faced along the way as she organises events and establishes art contacts, but this does not stop her from striving for success.

She said: “I always strive for perfection in each art event I organise, which is always a challenge. To curate the right artworks for the right audience in the right country is also a challenge, as well as reaching the right art-buying people and doing the correct marketing in each country.

“But now we have become stronger and stronger, built up a high return customer rate and a solid database.”

Her agency also provides promotion and advertising channels, artist memberships, a collectors association, an online art gallery, art news portal, charity art auctions, and art book publishing.

She says being honest is an important part of her business approach.

The entrepreneur said: “I have always remained myself, and I have a very transparent and open attitude that creates trust between me and my clients. They appreciate the hard work we put in, and we combine that with a personal touch.”

ALSO READ: Brexit: Mini Oxford factory shutting down despite delay

As well as providing opportunities for curators to expose their art, Mrs Dinnage has set up an annual awards ceremony called the Global Art Awards, to recognise and honour their success.

Mrs Dinnage, who has two companies in Dubai, particularly wants to impact art and culture positively in the UAE, and the awards, which she calls the ‘Oscars for the Art World’, are held in Dubai and supported by His Royal Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Tahnoun, who is the Patron.

She said: “I always had a vision of an “Oscars for the Art World” and started working on it back in 2016. I think it is important that artists should get rewarded for their hard work. And it encourages them to become more successful and helps in their career.

“I am now organising the next awards and have received many fantastic responses from new partners, so I am very excited to launch the third edition very soon.”

However, Mrs Dinnage has been shortlisted for an award herself, in the International Business Excellence Awards which are also held in Dubai.

Her PR agency recommended entering the competition as it would be a good opportunity to build a solid foundation as a business woman in the Emirates.

She said: “I agreed that it was a good way for me to show the local art market in the region what we offer as a business and give artists a voice around the globe. It also helps the art and culture sector in the UAE.”

The awards are not just about competing and celebrating best practice, but it also aims to offer a unique opportunity to network with other key players from across the world and to hear what others are doing to solve problems within their country or particular sector.

As a finalist, Mrs Dinnage will have to give a 15 minute presentation on why she should win the title of Inspirational Female Leader to an open judging panel on April 29 alongside up to 100 other finalists at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.

ALSO READ: Uber acquires Middle East competitor for £2.3bn

Mrs Dinnage said: “I am focused on bringing success to the region in UAE, giving artists a voice in other countries as well as here in the UK, and supporting local artists to achieve recognition and sell their artwork worldwide.

She added: “I have already achieved a great deal, but having the chance to share insights and work with other successful entrepreneurs through the unique format of the awards will be fantastic.”

In the evening of the second day of the awards on April 30, the winners of each category will be announced at the gala dinner held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City Hotel.

She says the category that she has been nominated for, is a great way for her to show women that they can be successful entrepreneurs too.

In response to her nomination, she said: “I am very flattered that I am in the finals for the International Inspirational Female Leader. I find it important to show other women what they are capable of, and to shine. I like to encourage other women to find their passion and take action in their career to succeed.

“Its has been difficult to prepare for the presentation but I’m just staying true to myself and aiming to explain my business with passion.”

Mrs Dinnage also values charity work and helping those in need.

Her events always endeavour to raise money for chosen charities including, Save Blessing Child Home orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal and Charity School Bwejuu in Tanzania, Africa.

At the recent Oxford International Art Fair, money was raised for Charity selling beautiful linen bags with artwork designs by award-winning artists, Ellen Stapleton and Andy Wilx.

She said: “I’ve always had a passion for helping people in need in countries where life was difficult, especially children. I believe it’s important because in the end, money is just money, and helping people that are so pleased with your help is more rewarding than anything.

“I would love one day to be a full-time philanthropist.”